how to start weed seeds

Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.

Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally, stress and genetic disorders are viewed as bad, so temper expectations with any plant you start from a bagseed.

This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:

Also, autoflower plants are small—perfect for closet grows or any small grow, or growing outdoors where you don’t want your neighbors to see what you’re up to.

Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.

Can I grow a seed I found in a bag of weed?

Because training happens during vegetative growth, for autoflowering plants, this period could be as short as a few weeks, which means time is limited. Try topping your autoflowers after they have three nodes, and stop once they begin to flower. You will want to prune them lightly.

Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.

Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.

Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.

If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.

A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.

Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.

Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.

If cannabis is legal in your state, you can buy seeds or clones from a local dispensary, or online through various seed banks.

To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”

Is a bagseed good or bad?

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.

Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.

Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.

It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.

A lot of classic weed strains that have been around for a while come in feminized form. Some popular fem seeds are:

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

What are autoflowering cannabis seeds?

Sexing marijuana plants can be a time-consuming process, and if you don’t catch males, there is a risk that even one males can pollinate your entire crop, causing all of your female weed plants to produce seeds.

Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out if a bagseed will grow. If you’re simply curious to learn and not as concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what happens.

Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.

Because only female cannabis plants produce buds and you want them to focus all their energy on producing buds and not seeds, it’s important to identify and get rid of male weed plants so they don’t pollinate females. If females are pollinated, it will give you buds filled with seeds, making your weed harsh and unpleasant.

Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.

If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.

If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the look of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.

Once cannabis seeds are mature, the female plant begins to die, and seeds are either dropped to the ground where they grow into new cannabis plants next spring, or the seeds are harvested for processing into seed oil or food products, or stored so they can be sown in the ground later and become the next generation of plants.

CFL bulbs (twisty/spiral bulbs as pictured to the right) are a great source of light for young marijuana seedlings.

Rockwool is not a natural material – it’s made by heating rock and chalk to 3,000°F and air is blown through the mixture to create thin fibers of rocky material.

Rockwool cubes have a high pH until they’re treated.

Cannabis seeds can look a bit different when germinating. When in doubt, always wait a few days to see if leaves appear before you try to interfere.

Wait! My seed is growing upside down with the roots up; what do I do?

How to Plant Your Germinated Cannabis Seeds.

Another method to germinate marijuana seeds is to soak them overnight in slightly warm water, usually done in a glass drinking cup.

Day 7 from seed.

Jiffy Pellets are used in a similar way to Rockwool cubes, though these tend to get much better germination results. Jiffy pellets are not suitable for most hydroponic setups where the roots are grown directly in water, but Jiffy Pellets can be directly transferred into soil or coco coir.

Some seeds take longer than others to sprout. Especially older seeds tend to need longer to pierce through their shell. However, if seeds are left soaking too long, and haven’t yet sprouted, they can drown.

Rapid Rooters (Highly Recommended For All Setups)

The next set of leaves after the cotyledons are your plants first “true” leaves and will have jagged edges (serrations). At least, they are the first leaves that your seedling cannabis plant has grown all on its own, unlike the cotyledons which were already formed in the seed.

So how come sometimes it looks like a cannabis plant is growing with its roots pointing up?

Pros of Rockwool.

Once your cannabis seedling is about fourteen days old, it’s ready to start being treated as if in the vegetative stage.

I highly recommend using Rapid Rooters over any other starter plugs. They are less prone to problems and work great with any growing medium (including hydroponic systems).

Germination Method 2: Plant marijuana seeds directly in growing medium.

I recommend Rapid Rooters as these starter cubes work great for cannabis seeds and can be used in any growing medium including hydroponics, soil, or coco coir. Other starter cubes include Jiffy Peat Pellets, and Rockwool cubes.

The cotyledons were already created as part of the plant embryo in the seed itself, so the cannabis seedling doesn’t have to grow them. In fact, the emerging first leaves are what break apart the shell after it’s cracked open by the taproot, as pictured here.

Rockwool can be difficult to germinate marijuana seeds in, so I recommend most beginner growers sprout their seeds using another method like Rapid Rooters (mentioned above) which can also be used in hydroponic applications but are less prone to germination problems.

Rapid Rooters are nice, but not necessary. You can use them before you transfer your seedlings to their final container. The Rapid Rooter should be cut open lengthwise if you plan on using them for germinated seeds. I use big scissors.

The taproot – and maybe a few tiny early offshoots of the taproot – will get longer and longer, pushing the seed up, and after the shell breaks through the surface of your growing medium, the first leaves (these first round leaves are known as “cotyledons”) will emerge from inside the cannabis seed.

If you’re planting in soil, start with a balanced potting soil that doesn’t contain extra nutrients. I recommend Happy Frog potting soil mix for young cannabis seedlings, but any plain potting mix from your local garden store will do. Never use Miracle-Gro soil or any soil that has “time-released” nutrients already mixed in. After your plants have grown a few sets of leaves, you can transfer them to a stronger potting mix that contains higher levels of nutrients like Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil, or you can start supplementing with cannabis soil nutrients. Don’t want to use nutrients? Learn how to mix up your own super soil so it has all the nutrients your cannabis plants will need!

I do not believe the health of the plant is directly tied to the apparent “health” of the seed. If the seed germinates, it’s a good seed!

Germination Method 3: Germination Station.

The cotyledons (first, round leaves) unfurl, and then the regular cannabis leaves between to grow. Here’s another view of that same seedling from above. Even though it may have looked a bit weird at first, this seedling is completely normal and will grow just fine from now on.

If you’ve planted your young plant in a large container, try to give only a little bit of water at a time (enough to wet the area around the seedling roots) until the plant is growing vigorously. Once the plant has grown a few sets of leaves, you should start watering cannabis normally so that water drains out the bottom.

Poke holes in the bottom of your cup so water can drain out easily!

Rapid Rooters Mat.

Marijuana seeds need the following to get the best germination rates:

Generally, pale-green or white seeds will not germinate, but most dark seeds will germinate when given good conditions.

Cons of Rockwool.

As the seedling emerges you’ll be able to see the leaves (sometimes it will still have the seed stuck on the first leaves, like in the picture above).

Put a plate or other object under the bottom towel to prevent moisture damage and another over the top towel to keep the seeds in a dark space. When you see the white taproot emerge from your seeds, they will be ready to transplant. Make sure to plant them taproot down.

Some folks like to germinate their seeds in Jiffy Pots. You can buy these at nurseries and other places as little round disks.

Plant a seed or two in each pot, making sure to keep the pots moist. Once the plants sprout, you can transplant them in their Jiffy Pot to a container or to a raised bed or garden plot.

Whether you are growing pot for personal use or for income, it is crucial to give your plants the best start in life possible. Just as with animals and children, healthy beginnings will encourage rapid, strong growth. You have two basic options for growing your own cannabis: start with seeds or use clones.

The paper towel method is a favorite for many home growers. Simply take two pieces of paper towel. Moisten them with water. Then place your pot seeds in between the two layers of moist paper towels.

Water Soaking.

There are five basic germination methods that are popular. With any of these methods, remember that seeds will need adequate warmth, moisture, and air to germinate properly. Generally, cannabis seeds like a temperature of 70° F to 90° F for sprouting.

Choose between indica and sativa according to your preferences for cannabis effects or the market’s demand. You will also have dozens of strains to choose from.

A clear plastic cover on the top keeps the warmth in. You can make one of these at home or purchase one inexpensively at your local nursery or online.

Germination simply means getting a seed to sprout a taproot, which will serve as its main root into the soil as it grows. For the best results, start with the best seeds you can afford to buy online or get from friends.

This is an even more natural method than water soaking. Just plant your seeds 1/2 inch to one inch deep in soil or another medium that has been moistened. A key benefit of this technique is that your seedlings won’t be subject to transplant shock. Because they have grown up in their surroundings, they will have acclimated to them.

If you choose the seed route, you will want to know the best way to germinate marijuana seeds. Experimenting with marijuana germination is your best bet for determining what’s right for you, since even seasoned growers often argue about the best methods for germinating marijuana seeds.

How long does it take to germinate marijuana seeds? Typically, it will take anywhere from a couple of days to up to a week to see your seeds start to turn into plants.

Lots of folks like this simple, direct method. Simply soak your seeds overnight in a glass of lukewarm water. The next day, plant them directly in the ground, containers or wherever you plan to grow them.

When you are ready to plant, just add water. They will expand into little individual soil pots you can use as a growing medium.

Direct Planting.

If possible, get feminized seeds. Because female pot plants produce the bodacious bud that cannabis connoisseurs crave, starting with feminized seeds will produce more buds when the plants mature. Feminized seeds won’t provide 100% female plants, but they will greatly increase your odds from the 50-50 chances of a standard seed selection.

Also known as seed starters, germination stations are like mini greenhouses. They include a tray filled with soil and a heat pad underneath to keep the soil warm.

And maybe you have been using trial and error but ended up thinking, “Why won’t my marijuana seeds germinate?”” Truth is, you’ve likely been making some mistakes without knowing it. You can increase your results, although some seeds inevitably will be duds. No one can attain 100% germination, but there is room for improvement regardless.

DripWorks is happy to provide this primer on how to germinate marijuana seeds fast. These methods can get you and your seeds off to a good start.

Simply plant your pot seeds in the growing medium and let them grow. When they are big enough, transplant them to a place where they will grow to maturity and harvest. To keep your crop growing well, check out other guides from our cannabis blog.

Jiffy Pots.